OLD WASHINGTON - Morgan Dougherty hit Collin Streiff with a 2-point conversion pass with 41 seconds left Friday night to give Buckeye Trail a thrilling 22-21 come-from-behind victory against Barnesville at the Baker Activity Complex.
Dougherty took the snap from center, dropped back, rolled right, and paused for a few moments before spotting Streiff in the middle of the end zone. Streiff, the 5-8 senior, made the catch in plenty of traffic to give the Warriors their second straight victory and even the team's record at 2-2 heading into the start of a three-game road trip next Friday at Meadowbrook.
''A tie doesn't do us any good,'' Warriors head coach Dale Broomhall said. ''We're always going to go for the win.''
BARNESVILLE’S Jamie Wells picks off a Buckeye Trail pass as Warriors’ Travis Pontius was the intended receiver. Wells took the interception back for a touchdown. The Warriors rallied in the second half for a 22-21 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
A time out preceded the game-winning play.
''I called the play,'' said Broomhall, a 1972 Barnesville graduate who beat his alma mater for the first time. ''They tried to talk me out of it and I went back to the play and said we're going for the win.''
The connection between Dougherty and Streiff was made possible by a hook up between Levi Gadd and Bobby Sells one play earlier.
Buckeye Trail was faced with fourth-and 21 from the Barnesville 35 with a little more than 1 minute left. Gadd, who took most of the snaps, dropped back and hit Sells in stride for the score that brought the Warriors to within one and prompted Broomhall's big decision.
''He didn't throw the ball where I asked him, but he threw the ball where he had to and that's what it's all about,'' Broomhall said.
The TD capped a four-play drive, one which started after Tristen King recovered a Tyler Carleton fumble deep in Shamrocks territory.
Turnovers were an Achilles' heel for Barnesville. The Shamrocks turned the ball over seven times, including five times in the second half.
''I have no words ... I really don't,'' Barnesville head coach Matt Johnson said after watching his team fall to 0-4.
''I'm at a loss for words on what just happened.''
''Our kids kept battling and battling and our kids play hard, but you just can't put the ball on the ground that many times.''
The Warriors turned the ball over four times.
Despite the turnovers and offensive woes, Barnesville went into halftime with a 14-2 lead thanks to its defense.
With six ticks remaining in the first quarter, Jamie Wells stepped in front of a Gadd pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. The first of three David Brown extra-point kicks made the score 7-2.
With 7:40 left in the second quarter, Brandon Collins helped increase the lead to 14-2 when he scooped up a fumble and returned it 48 yards for a score.
''Defensively, we played a whale of a game, but offensively we have to block and protect the football,'' Johnson said.
A pair of Shamrocks miscues on their first two drives of the second half resulted in TD runs by Travis Pontius of 48 and 2 yards.
Pontius, who finished with finished with 107 yards on the ground, scored both runs on the first play of the respective drives. The extra-point attempt on the latter score failed and the score remained tied at 14-14.
Trail drove to the Barnesville 36 late in the third, but decided to go for it on fourth-and-5 instead of punting. Gadd';s pass fell incomplete.
On the first play of Barnesville's ensuing drive, Austin Hannahs found Kyle McIntire for a 64-yard touchdown strike that helped make the score 21-14.
''We gave them two easy scores early and sometimes you come out on the wrong end of it and (Friday) we didn't,'' Broomhall said.
Barnesville welcomes winless Shenandoah next Friday.
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org